Friday, January 16, 2009

me and my neighbours....

...we are cold, but this is the sort of thing Canadians live for, because we are demented. It was -20C last night and we want to feel tough, going without power in the winter*. See, the power went out at 10 pm last night, after a broken water main flooded the Toronto Hydro station. The article, if you read it, is silly and misleading, and the comments, as usual, are worse**. It states that 22,000 people remain without power. I heard it reported that 100,000 people were without power (I guess that was last night). However, that seems ridiculous to me. There must be more people living between St Clair and Queen and Spadina and Jane! That's a serious chunk of a city of 4 million. Plus, there are no traffic lights and no subway service, so a much greater proportion of the city is affected. The power might not be reinstated until 10 pm tonight.

Wilt, winged walrus, faceI called Reynardin to see if her power was out too, curious how much of the city was down, last night. When we realized that power was clearly out from my place to hers and beyond, that was the hint that this was a bigger problem. This morning at 8:37, Dad called. He actually volunteered to pick me up and drive me to work. I declined - since I'm not teaching this term, the chances that I am ready to leave at 8:37 are nil. He gave a mangled version of what public transit was working - I'm glad I didn't listen to him. He asked if I didn't have some sort of news sort, like one of those wind-up radios. I was proud of myself that I had candles and matches and I could find them in the dark - I actually used the glow-in-the-dark tusks of my winged walrus as a sort of flash light. I don't have a wind-up radio. I decided to walk to Roncesvalles, since he said he'd heard something about Dundas West station. The streetcars are obviously on a separate power grid that the rest of us - we know this because we've all seen the streetcars stop when we still have power. Incredibly, they weren't even short-turning the cars, and we had "normal" service.... but the traffic made things so slow it took an hour to get here. At Roncesvalles and Howard Park, there were about 30 people waiting... they were chatting and waxing nostalgic about the last blackout - but how much nicer that had been in the summer. I think this is very Canadian, to consider trials and tribulations a bonding experience.

I fussed about Minouette. I was worried she would get cold today. I watched her systematically try sitting on each rad in vain. She settled on the warmest sun-beam. I brought her a blanket.

*Though the ice storm in Montreal - that must have been too much.
**One ninny asked how could there be a flood if it is so cold? It's a water main, silly. It is designed to keep flowing even in sub-zero temperatures. They heat it if they have to. The obvious way to get a flood in winter is because of the cold... one frozen pipe, water under building pressure and pow! Flood.
Really, if your head serves only as a hat-rack, must you power commentary on the national newspaper's website?

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